Mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, saltwater marshes – these and other ‘blue forests’ are vital to coastal and island communities around the world
Communications and Outreach
Understanding how to disseminate knowledge and information to diverse stakeholders should be a core component of any blue forests project. This page highlights the various communications product and outreach strategies that can be effectively employed to mobilize communities and inform policy makers.
What are the steps for
creating a communications plan?
A communications plan should coordinate outreach for multiple scales of governance, catering to each audience with varying communications products and strategies.
In the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador, for example, Conservation International worked on communication strategies at multiple scales - one for informing policy makers and decision makers and another strategy for outreach to rural communities. CI directly engaged with fisherwomen in the Gulf of Guayaquil to support their inclusion in existing fishing associations and provide them with economic benefits.
How do you communicate the value of blue forests to the general public?
Blue forests projects can foster a more bottom-up approach by providing communities with the knowledge to increase awareness and understanding of the value of blue forests ecosystems. Additionally, using communication tools tailored to general audiences can mobilize communities to participate and engage with a project.
Communication and outreach strategies most effective for diverse educational backgrounds may include workshops, training sessions, and interactive communications products (i.e., videos, graphics) available in multiple languages. By effectively communicating project objectives in a clear and accessible way, community capacity increases and coastal ecosystems can continue to be sustainably managed beyond the lifespan of a project.
How do you communicate the value of blue forests to policy makers?
Effective communication about environmental issues can influence national priorities and polices related to the management of blue forests ecosystems. Examples of tools for communicating the value of blue forests and blue carbon at the national level include infographics, reports, fact sheets, policy briefs, social media, press releases, networks, and engagement with government ministries.
How do you communicate the value of blue forests and blue forests in international agreements?
In international environmental affairs, communication guides our understanding of the issue’s blue forests face, including threats, stakeholders involved, and possible approaches that can be taken in support of conservation and other goals. Examples of tools for communicating the value of blue forests and blue carbon at international fora include infographics, reports, flyers, policy briefs, sign -on letters, social media, press releases, and side events at international meetings. Networks and partnerships formed around the concept of blue carbon, play a key role in advancing understanding of the concept.
Blue Carbon - A new conservation frontier? / Blue Marine Foundation / 2021 (online conference)
Live from COP25: So, what about the Blue COP? / Global Landscapes Forum / 2019 (video)
Ocean & Climate / Ocean & Climate Platform / 2019 (video, French and English)
In Hot Water: The Climate Crisis and the Urgent Need for Ocean Protection / Greenpeace International / 2019
Accelerating Blue Carbon: Illuminating a path on where and how to fund the promise of blue carbon, igniting mass mobilization / Buckminster Fuller Institute / 2019
Blue Carbon at COP21 Blue Forests / Blue Forests Project / 2019
Blue Carbon Solutions for Climate Change: Open Statement to the Delegates of COP16 by the Blue Climate Coalition / Blue Climate Solutions / 2010
Blue carbon: first level exploration of blue carbon in the Arabian Peninsula / AGEDI, GRID-Arendal / 2011
What are the best practices for developing communications products?
Using clear, simple and engaging materials to connect with wide audiences is best practice for a blue carbon project. In Madagascar, communications and outreach has been critical a component for the success of community-led projects, where simple data-sharing methods developed by the community association allow project managers to share results and key information with illiterate project participants.
Photographs and videos are other excellent ways to disseminate information and narratives about project locations, which can visually connect wide audiences to the on-the-ground-work happening around the world. Utilizing and establishing open-access photo databases (as has been developed by the Blue Forests Project) can help to visually enhance reports, publications, presentations and social media content.
360 degree videos, photographs and virtual tours can also provide decision makers and the public alike with highly engaging and educational media to showcase conservation and innovation within a project site. All 360 videos featured throughout the Blue Forests Solutions website are provided by Distant Imagery, a GEF Blue Forests Project Partner. See the playlist below to explore 360 videos.
Blue Carbon Image Database 1.0 / Blue Forests Project / 2017
New Technologies to Support Blue Forests Conservation / Blue Forests Project / July 2021 (Webinar)